For the first time since this election started, John McCain granted gay press a bit of access into his campaign. And we do mean “a bit.”
Rather than sitting down with the Washington Blade, McCain responded in writing to questions penned by publisher William Kapfer, which explains how McCain could so readily recall his words at the funeral of Mark Bingham, a gay man who helped thwart the Flight 95 attack on September 11th.
McCain did make some good points – we need to do more about HIV/AIDS here in the United States while also reaching across the seas – but sidestepped many of Kapfer’s inquiries. For example, when asked whether he would appoint anti-gay Judges or other officials, McCain replied, “I will nominate judges who interpret the Constitution, not judges who legislate from the bench. Legislators pass laws; judges interpret them. Unfortunately, too many judges have become confused [about] their role.” Later, Kapfer asked McCain what he thinks about organizations like the Boy Scouts of America, which prohibits gay leaders. Again, McCain offered a lackluster reply, “I don’t believe that’s an issue for the President to deal with. I supported the Supreme Court’s decision in the Dale case. The Boy Scouts are an important institution in our society and they should decide this issue on their own.” The Dale case involved a New Jersey gay man who sued the Scouts after they booted him. The Supreme Court rules the Scouts had the right to determine their own membership criteria.
Perhaps the most interesting exchange revolved around the matter of gay adoptions. McCain has previously spoken out against same-sex couples rearing a child. Despite an outcry from gay folk, McCain’s ideas haven’t evolved. He still thinks a man and a woman provide the most stable environment and defers to the question to the GOP’s favorite fall-back: federalism.
Blade: Regarding adoption by same-sex couples, you have been quoted as saying you don’t believe it’s appropriate. Can you elaborate?
McCain: I hope my comments are not misinterpreted. I respect the hundreds of thousands of gay and lesbian people who are doing their best to raise the children they have adopted. As someone who adopted a child, Cindy and I know better than most couples the amazing satisfaction that comes from providing love to an unwanted child. I believe a child is best raised by a mother and father because of the unique contributions that they make together to the development of a child.
At the end of the day, this isn’t an issue the president deals with. I’m a federalist, and this is an issue reserved to the states in our system of government.
Kapfer also asks McCain what progress gay Americans can hope for by the year 2009. Here’s what the candidate says: “My advice to all Americans is that it is time we came together to work in a bipartisan fashion to find real solutions to the challenges facing our country. I will be the President for all Americans – and will challenge every American to work with me to put our country first.” What about people’s rights? And, you know, equality? Feh.
He didn’t respond, the request was approved and then the questions went to a mid-level staffer who wrote out the answers, which were then approved by the press rep before they were faxed back to the Blade.
I don’t think McCain’s reply about the Boy Scouts was lackluster. It was appropriate, and I agree with the decision of the courts. And I am extremely pleased that so many people cut their funding to the scouts afterwards and that their national enrollment has dropped 10 percent in the last decade. La la.
However, the rest of his answers were either chilling or just not any sort of answer at all.
Ston – Did you know that William is from Arizona and maybe knew McCain?
Ston – Did you know that William is from Arizona and maybe knew McCain? Do people still use faxes? You are showing your age.
As Justice Stevens pointed out in his dissent, the Boy Scouts are not entirely private. They’re a semi-private organization which receives strong – often official – backing from the state. After all, the organization subsists largely on public funding and free use of public facilities. So, gay and lesbian taxpayers are contributing to the Boy Scouts whether they like it or not.
And even more hypocritical is the BSA’s practice of suing any city that withdrew their support after the Dale decision (ironically, on the basis of “religious discrimination”). The Boy Scouts have already filed lawsuits against Berkeley, San Diego, and Philadelphia over the cutting of public funding.
Shouldn’t truly private organizations fund themselves?
Adrein and Desert – Ston is our friend from Boston.
“who are doing their best to raise children they adopted”. WTF is that? how about simply stating that we’re raising children. how sad that he refers to his adopted daughter as “unwanted”. our adopted daughter was wanted not only by us, but by the thousands of others in this country waiting to grow their families, we were just the lucky ones to get her. this guy is an asshole and i can’t wait until he loses the election and then dies.
Maybe we need to give all the unwanted kids to the Republicans. I give them credit for giving a child a home — but there are others that could benefit from “any home” situation — gay, Lesbian or straight.
All I can say is that Obama will make a much prettier (and hotter) president. Vote for him!
Ditto, Smokey. I was looking through some of the other article on here that get dozens of replies – and am surprised that when a bully like McCain is showcased that no one really cares or comments. It shows the mentality of the readers, I guess.
MCCAIN’S ‘CONCEPTUAL’ APPROACH TO GOVERNING…. John McCain, in an apparent first, answered questions from the Washington Blade, a publication for the GLBT community in Washington. It was, according to various reports, the first time a Republican presidential nominee had participated in an “interview” with a news outlet that caters to the gay community.
Except it wasn’t really an “interview.” The McCain campaign agreed to let the Blade send over written questions, and the campaign agreed to respond with written answers, presumably put together by a staffer. The president of the Log Cabin Republicans, boasting about the Q&A, told supporters that McCain is engaged in “unprecedented” “outreach to gay and lesbian voters.” That’s hardly an accurate description.
For that matter, the McCain campaign’s written responses weren’t exactly illuminating. The campaign gave vague and evasive answers to most of the questions.
There was one exchange, though, that stood out:
BLADE: Will you support the Employment Non-Discrimination Act if elected president?
MCCAIN: Gay and lesbian people should not face discrimination in the workplace. I’ve always practiced that in my hiring. I select the best people, regardless of their sexual orientation. I support the concept of non-discrimination in hiring for gay and lesbian people.
However, we need to make sure legislation doesn’t lead to a flood of frivolous lawsuits or infringe on religious institutions. What I can say now is I will give careful consideration to any legislation that reaches my desk, and confer with Congress before making decisions.
Hmm. McCain likes the “concept” of non-discrimination. If this sounds familiar, it’s because he also supports the “concept” of equal pay for women. This is hardly reassuring. McCain doesn’t like the concept of discrimination, but his philosophical beliefs don’t mean much if he’s not prepared to do something about discrimination in practice.
When we cut through the nonsense, McCain is, in many respects, even further to the right on gay issues than Bush/Cheney. After all, McCain has, over the course of this campaign, said he doesn’t believe gay couples should be allowed to adopt children; he opposes civil unions, even at the state level; he opposes otherwise-qualified gay Americans serving in the military, calling gay troops an “intolerable risk”; and he’s even told supporters that he could support a constitutional amendment banning gay marriage. McCain went so far as to suggest he couldn’t consider Michael Bloomberg for his ticket because the New York mayor is “pro-gay rights.”
It’s nice, I suppose, that he kinda sorta talked to a prominent publication for the gay community, but who in their right mind would believe McCain is tolerant on GLBT issues?
It was United flight 93, not 95.
McGoo needs to take some classes in Jurisprudence or Constitutional Law. I don’t know who that idiot is to claim that he knows more about how determinations are made_”legislating from the Bench!” what a mushy ratshit brain. ” The fact is that there are cases in which the Constitution is not clear and to not make a decision is as much legislating from the bench as is making a determination within the scope of what is there. He’s really just very lackluster when it comes to anything requiring a brain.
It’s incredible that an absent father such as Senator McCain would not see the disconnect between what he’s saying about a child being raised by a father and a mother. The senator was in DC, the family was in AZ — and Cindy was probably absent quite a bit of the time as well. So the kids were probably raised by nannies or some such household help. Being raised by a gay couple is far better than that.
What the fuck????? This pisses me off, what does it matter if they are gay or lesbian? If they are willing to adopt a kid that wouldnt have a house to live in and a family to love them, what is wrong with that????
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